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Real-time Sanitary Sewer Flow Monitoring Optimizes Service, Enables Surveillance for Public Health

Edmonton, AB, Canada
KISTERS North America

Government Champion

Drainage Services


280 Thousand USD
41 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2016

At a Glance

EPCOR, which provides municipal drinking & wastewater treatment services to City of Edmonton, harnesses automation & real-time data to increase operational efficiency and deliver of essential services. The water analytics system is fundamental to providing critical insight into COVID-19 presence later this year.

Problem Addressed

Prior to the transfer of drainage services to EPCOR, the City had developed its own software called SHAPES. The single application was utilized to collect, archive, analyze, and report on sewer monitoring data. Over time as the application evolved, various transitions had caused the loss of functional components. A haphazard approach to patching broken functionalities or extend other ones began to severely restrict efficient data management or analysis.

In order to continue the high-level of analysis the City was determined to do, a comprehensive upgrade of SHAPES was imperative. Alternatively, an extensive number of software applications could replace the single system. However, their compatibility was unproven and their licensing costs expensive.

EPCOR | City of Edmonton used/is using Water Information System by KISTERS to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

The City identified KISTERS and the Water Information System by KISTERS (WISKI) platform as a replacement for all the existing applications within SHAPES. In particular, the commercial software met specific requirements for data storage, analysis, and reporting of drainage and sewer monitoring time series data. The commercial software quickly re-established lost functionality.

With WISKI also deployed on an Oracle SQL like the legacy system, the City could easily migrate historical sanitary flow, rainfall, pump station, sewage storage tank, and interconnection (storm sanitary sewer) data sets.


  1. Real-time data analytics system enables more effective public health monitoring. Wastewater treatment protocols found shed COVID-19 in sewer sheds but infective cells were absent.
  2. Assurance of accurate & timely sanitary sewer flow monitoring data, esp as data automation empowers essential service workers to focus on high priorities unless an alert requires attention.
  3. Integrated resources efficiently managed as telemetered sewer data (level, flow, velocity, and data quality) are validated at import & viewed with telemetered surface water & rainfall data.
  4. A reliable long-term application as KISTERS provides technical support & training, coordinated patching of functional components, development and testing of new enhancements.

Lessons Learned

  1. Reclaiming & reallocating staff time is critical as automated data tasks address a diminishing water workforce, and aging infrastructure & stagnant water rates require lean operating budgets
  2. Integration of operational technology and the IT solution WISKI provides a single flexible & robust tool to collect, archive, analyze, and report on wastewater, weather events, and flooding.
  3. Insights from integrated IT solutions providers like KISTERS add value when considering the replacement of other IT assets such as a laboratory information management system (LIMS).

Something Unique

Dr. Rasha Maal-Bared of EPCOR chairs the WEF Waterborne Infection Disease Outbreak Control Working Group. The utility and city are engaged in a nationwide pilot to survey sewersheds for COVID-19 and identify subsequent waves of infection later this year, as scientists and public health experts have predicted.

Who Should Consider?

Utilities that consider sanitary flow monitoring & data quality essential to support O&M including infiltration & inflow quantification, hydraulic modeling, capacity assessment & baselining for improvements.

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